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VPD arrest man who set third floor apartment suite on fire

Vancouver Police arrested a 26-year-old Vancouver man on Wednesday night who barricaded himself in an apartment suite, set it on fire, and threatened the resident of the suite with a weapon.

Officers responded to a 9-1-1 call from a man inside a suite at an apartment building near Drake and Burrard streets at around 11 p.m. The caller was being threatened by the suspect, who was swinging a chain at him. He then threatened the victim with a knife. Fearful for his safety, the victim locked himself on the balcony of his suite.

The suspect barricaded himself inside the suite and used furniture and other household items to block the door. He then ignited a mattress. Damage to the suite is estimated at more than $500,000.

“Officers were quick to evacuate the building, carrying the elderly and disabled down the stairs” says Constable Tania Visintin, VPD. “This was a joint effort from our patrol officers, emergency response team and negotiators.”

Members from VPD’s Emergency Response Section were able to safely assist the victim off the balcony to the ground. Multiple residents of the building were moved to a nearby hotel as their suites were deemed unsafe due to smoke and water damage.

“This extremely dynamic call would have not played out as it did without the assistance of the Vancouver Fire Rescue Services,” adds Visintin. “They worked with officers to provide the material needed to rescue the victim safely and efficiently and for that we are very grateful.”

The suspect, who had a chain wrapped around his hands, was aggressive towards police as he was being taken into custody. Bean bag shot gun rounds were used to allow officers to gain control and safely put the man in handcuffs before he injured himself or other police officers.

Vancouver Police will be recommending multiple charges to Crown counsel that include, but are not limited to, arson, forcible confinement, mischief and assault. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call VPD investigators at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.